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Estate Planning FAQ 1

What happens if someone dies without a Deceased Will Monmouth County?

In that case the laws of the state of the person’s domicile at the time of death control how his or her assets and debts are to be handled, who is to be appointed to administer those assets and debts and who receives the deceased person’s property. If a New Jersey resident dies without a Will leaving a spouse or a domestic partner and either children of the same marriage or no children, then the law provides that the spouse or domestic partner inherit the entire estate. If the deceased person had children from a prior marriage or relationship, then the spouse or domestic partner inherits the first 25% of the decedent’s assets but not less than $50,000 or more than $200,000, plus half of any balance. The children take the remainder. There are other rules about inheritances by parents, children, grandchildren and more collateral relations which collectively are called intestate succession. Sometimes these laws reflect what the deceased person wanted. Many times they do not. However, since the drafters of state laws cannot know what each individual would have wanted they can only set up rules for something called probable intent. In addition to providing for how assets are to pass, where there is no Will the state law establishes the order of persons with the authority to administer the estate. Again, this may reflect what the deceased person wanted but it also may not. Finally, when a person dies without a Will the local probate court will generally require that the administrator post a bond to ensure that the administrator will follow applicable rules and will not steal from the estate. This cost is generally avoided with a Will which provides for the appointment of an Executor and that such Executor may serve without bond. In short, the absence of a Will prevents a person from choosing who is to inherit his or her property and who is to handle payment of bills and disposition of the assets and frequently cost the inheritors unnecessary expense for a bond and to navigate various matters involving the deceased person’s estate.

Call (732)-972-1600 today to speak to one of our skilled Estate Planning Attorneys. Located in Manalapan (Monmouth County, NJ), Cranford (Union County, NJ) and Midtown Manhattan (New York, NY); Drescher & Cheslow represents clients throughout the State of New Jersey & New York including but not limited to Mercer, Middlesex, Monmouth, Essex, Somerset, Morris, Hudson and Ocean counties.

Ten Frequently Asked Estate Planning Questions
First: What happens if someone dies without a Will?
Second: What is probate and how much time and money does it cost?
Third: What are the different ways property can be owned and what problems can these different forms of ownership create?
Fourth: Must a parent treat all children equally?
Fifth: How should property be left for someone unable to manage it?
Sixth: Who should be named Executor or Trustee?
Seventh: What about taxes?
Eighth: What about lifetime gifts?
Ninth: How can clients safeguard their affairs in the face of physical or mental infirmity?
Tenth: How are health care decisions to be made if a person becomes unable to express his or her wishes?


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